Kelli Daisy: Scene and Heard


American Idol: Season 11

10 Years And Not Getting Better

I realize that some of you are die-hard American Idol fans; you watch religiously and follow the show from the audition process right up until the new winner is crowned. I am not one of those fans. I happened to catch someone’s tweets the other day the 11th season of American Idol was starting so I decided to tune in to watch some of the auditions and mostly so I wouldn’t be left out of the conversation. I wasted my time.

The first thing I noticed was that American Idol knows that it’s old and tired. It knows that the last few winners (especially the last one) haven’t really gone on to much commercial success meaning at some point people are going to start questioning the process. It knows it lost Simon Cowell and even the influx of new judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler can’t replace him. So it tried to play on our nostalgia—showing clips of current contestants when they were young singing alongside Kelly Clarkson on their televisions, or posing alongside pictures of Carrie Underwood wearing a ‘I’m the next American Idol’ shirt. And that worked, for about the first 5 minutes.

The truth is American Idol is old. The formula hasn’t changed in 10 seasons and it’s boring. There is no fun in seeing terrible singers audition for the judges, there is no fun in seeing those whose dreams have been crushed being followed out of the audition hall with cameras in their face as they, as one contestant proclaimed, ‘have a hissy fit.’ And there is really no fun in watching the judges fawn all over people who have marginal talent at best. 

I watched the entire 2-hour episode last night questioning just about every one of the judge’s choices.  Aside from the first contestant, David, the one who sounded just like a young Michael Jackson, and Scyler—the girl who auditioned without her brother but who the judges made come in and sing (and I didn’t like him at all), I wasn’t impressed by any of them. And of course there’s the typical marketing ploy they still try to use to make you stick around right until the end, promising a performer that you’ve just never heard the likes of before. Well, Phillip Phillips was an alright singer, but definitely not worth me wasting 2 hours of the same old same old waiting for.

And let’s get to the judges shall we. Maybe someone got a bee in his bonnet that all the talk last year seemed to revolve around JLo because last night seemed to be all about Steven Tyler.  For the record Steven Tyler is not that interesting. And he’s still super creepy.  Jennifer Lopez didn’t have much to say except for when she was being totally condescending to pretty girls, but at least she looked good. Randy Jackson may as well not even be there anymore because all he seems to do it ask the others what they think. It’s like you can almost see the wheels turning in Ryan Seacrest’s head wondering if he should jump ship to The Voice.

I can’t see myself tuning in to watch much this season at all based on what I’ve seen so far. What about you, how did you feel about Idol?

Scene and Heard

Confessions of a Pop Culture Mummy